Thursday, December 11, 2014

How did it feel when you wrote "The End"?




A post by Jonathan

So... I did it. I finally did it! After nearly ten years of working on my first novel, I finally wrote “The End”! Okay, so it wasn’t ten years straight, a thousand words a night or anything like that. That would be like a 3,650,000 page book! Boy, when you put that way, I did not manage my time well at all…


Seriously though, I’m super proud of myself. There were definitely times when I thought this day would never come. But now that it’s finally here, I can’t believe how good it feels! It’s like graduating from college, making the basketball team, and having a baby all at the same time. I feel totally legit, like I’m finally part of the club. I’m no longer the guy who’s writing a book, I’m the guy who finished a book. I talked the talk and walked the walk. I climbed the mountain, I peered into the valley, and it was good.  Sure, I’ve got a ton of revisions ahead of me. Sure, half of what I wrote is crap. But right now. Today. I am a doer. I am a finisher. I am a writer. I can say that now... without question.


All right, my hand is starting to hurt from patting myself on the back, so I’m going to sign off. But before I go, I’d like to ask you, reader-writers, to tell us how it felt when you first wrote “The End”. Did you walk on air for a few days or was it totally anticlimactic? Did the act of finishing give you a sense of legitimacy you didn’t feel before, or did very little change? Did you think finishing was a big deal, or were you holding out for the agent/first sale to pat yourself on the back? Or maybe you haven't finished yet... if so, what are you most looking forward to when that day finally comes? Either way, I'd love to hear from you!


In the meantime, please have a piece of virtual cake to celebrate with me! Also, I’d like to give a big shout-out to my fellow Boarders, Carrie and Nilah, for recently finishing books as well. Carrie completed her fourth novel just a few days ago and Nilah won NaNoWriMo. You two can fight over the first piece of cake! Virtual food fight = easy cleanup.

18 comments:

  1. great post, Jonathan!! and CONGRATS on hitting "The End"...when I finish a MS I always celebrate. In fact, I celebrate if I write a scene I love, or if I revise, mainly because I love to celebrate all the victories! Writing's so tough and so many times we just trudge through it, so it's so important to appreciate these moments! Now, pass the cake, please.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! Wow, you must go through a lot of champagne... I totally agree. Celebrating the little victories is just as important as the big ones! If you wait to celebrate till the end, you're probably never going to get there...

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  2. Congratulations, Jonathan!! I'm super excited for you. Enjoy everything you're feeling - you earned it!

    I actually just finished my third novel, but I like that you're already looking ahead to my fourth! When I finished my first one, I kept asking myself, "Am I really done? Did I just write a book? How did that happen?" It felt amazing. Yet, I didn't feel legit yet. That started to come slowly as people started reading and telling me how much they loved it. I didn't cry until I finally clicked publish. I didn't eat cake until my launch party, a few months after it was out. When I finished my second book, it was summer so I went right into 'mommy mode' and was too consumed with swimming lessons and day camps to really celebrate properly. Did I improve my celebration skills when I finished my third? Unfortunately no - because I finished on a day that wasn't my Fun Day. But this Saturday - my family is taking me to get a shake from Steak n' Shake! That's right, that's how I roll for celebrations :-) And I'll save a piece of your cake for Saturday too!

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    1. Whoops, sorry about that, Carrie... But hey, congrats on the third and an early congrats on the fourth! I know you can do it! I also know what you mean about finishing at a funny time. I actually stayed up till 1:30am to finish and I had to work the next day. My wife had gone to bed by then, so I didn't really have anyone to celebrate with me. But you better believe I poured a little drink and toasted myself. A shake sounds good too!

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  3. Congrats! I just finished a 20K rough draft of a novella. Took me a longish time too. Feels good!

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    1. Congrats Kimberly! Care for a piece of cake?

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  4. One, I love that cake! And two- CONGRATS!! And I like the imagery of you, the only one awake, toasting your accomplishment. =) I feel a huge 'yes, I did it!' and go around the next day with a silly little smile on my face at odd times. Oh, and if your hand does get tired from self-pats on the back, buy a back scratcher and let it do the work for you. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Leandra! Definitely had a silly smile on face. Now the real fun begins, right?

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  5. Woo Hoo! Celebrate every step of the way!! And man that cake looks YUMMY!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! Spared no expense for my virtual celebration cake!

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  6. Yaya! Welcome, brother. lol It really does feel like all those things rolled into one!

    I wrote "the end" after 5 years of writing, and it felt SO good because when I started out, I didn't know what the ending was going to be until maybe year 4. I've been revising for 6 years, but that's because for the first 2 or 3, I didn't know there was a writing community out here to help with that stuff. So it looks like you're on a good track! Keep us posted. :)

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  7. Thanks, Debra! Or should I say, big sis?! Yeah, it'll probably take me another 10 years to revise, but at least I'm done with the idea phase, world building, etc. But thanks for the props! I consider myself extremely lucky to have found the writing community I have...

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  8. Congrats!! Getting that draft done is the most important first step :) I honestly don't remember what finishing my first draft felt like (mainly because I love drafting and hate revisions, but, eh, it's all good!), but it is definitely an awesome thing. Hope you're doing something fun to celebrate!

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    1. Thanks, Meradeth! Definitely doing some fun stuff to celebrate! And I've certainly been enjoying the guilt free TV watching...

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  9. Congratulations! So many people never reach the end, so it's a huge accomplishment. I always feel giddy when I finish a story no matter its size. For larger works, though, I bake cookies to celebrate! :)

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    1. Definitely some giddiness here, Christine!

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  10. Congratulations! And thanks for the cake. It was as good as it looked. Smiles.

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    1. No problem, Robyn! It took me forever to make, glad you enjoyed it...

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